NYC Bottle Bill

Published on 04 November 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


NYC bottle bill expansion analyzed

The one-year mark for the expansion of New York City’s beverage container deposit law, better known as the “Bottle Bill,” passed on Oct. 31 as environmental groups praised its early results. Last year, the state revised the bill by extending the nickel refundable deposit on beverage containers to bottled water. The new law also required beverage companies to transfer 80 percent of the unredeemed deposits to the state General Fund. Before the bill’s passage they were able to pocket all unclaimed deposits. It also raised the handling fee for retailers and redeemers from 2 cents to 3.5 cents.
While it’s too early to measure the full effects of the law, it has yielded benefits in job creation and revenue for the cash-starved state, according to an analysis of its implementation by the New York Public Interest Group. So far, NYPIRG reports the state has collected over $120 million in unclaimed deposits (slightly higher than its initial projection of $118 million). It has also found that 93 percent of stores are complying with the law’s redemption requirements, and the number of registered redemption centers grew by 244.
The organization points to the expansion of bottle bills in New York, Connecticut and Oregon as having the potential to bolster recycling rates nationally.
“We are seeing excellent growth in recycling rates in the container deposit-refund programs around the country,” said Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, in a prepared statement. “The expansions in New York, Connecticut and Oregon added nearly four and a half billion containers to deposit programs, and have the potential to increase the nation’s overall beverage container recycling rate by two percentage points.”

Cited by: Plastics Recycling Update via email web

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Published on 29 September 2010 by in Internal News, Plastics Tidbits, Rubber Tidbits


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PE and PVC prices fall

Published on 10 August 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


AKRON, OHIO (July 22, 4:15 p.m. ET) — North American selling prices for polyethylene and suspension PVC have continued their summer slides.

Since June 1, regional prices for high and linear low density PE are down an average of 8 cents per pound, according to buyers contacted recently by Plastics News, while prices for low density PE are down an average of 4 cents.

The HDPE and LLDPE slides were split between a drop of 6 cents in June and a smaller drop of 2 cents in July. LDPE prices fell an average of 4 cents per pound in June and were flat in July, buyers said.

HDPE/LLDPE prices now are down 14 cents per pound (15 percent) since May 1, after jumping 18 cents (24 percent) in the first three months of the year, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart.

In PVC, regional suspension PVC prices slipped an average of 3 cents per pound in June. That makes a total drop of 7 cents (8 percent) since May 1, after prices had surged an average of 10 cents (13 percent) in the first quarter.

Overly aggressive pricing earlier in the year ? some of which was tied in to outages of ethylene feedstock ? may have played a role in recent PE price declines, according to Mike Burns, a PE market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.

?There was an artificial [pricing] run-up in the first half of the year,? Burns said in a recent phone interview. ?Exports are down, and [processors] haven?t been buying because they?re trying to get rid of high-priced pellets.?

Through April, U.S./Canadian HDPE sales showed a modest gain of about three percent, as a 7 percent gain in domestic sales was tempered by a drop of almost 14 percent in exports, according to the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Va. Regional sales of LDPE fared better with 6 percent growth. Sales of LLDPE led the way with total sales growth of almost 12 percent.

But each of those numbers appeared to have declined in the summer months, with processors working off inventories and export sales on the decline.

Even with a 3-month drop of 14 cents in HDPE/LLDPE pricing, Burns said the market is ?still a little overpriced? because of the big pricing gains posted in the first quarter.

?Pricing was way down in the first part of ?09, but now it?s gone in the other direction,? he said.

For PE maker Nova Chemicals of Calgary, Alberta, first-quarter PE sales volume in pounds nudged up 2 percent to 784 million. More impressively, Nova?s PE business had a first-quarter operating profit of $80 million after losing $7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Continued weakness in the housing market has prompted PVC prices to continue their downward drift. Buyers who may have stocked up early for the summer construction season now find themselves with more material than they need, sources said. That?s increasingly possible as homebuilders haven?t seen the rebound they had hoped for in new construction.

Although U.S./Canadian PVC sales were up almost 13 percent in the first four months of 2010, according to ACC, almost all of that growth can be credited to export sales, which were up more than 50 percent. Domestic sales, by comparison, were up less than 2 percent.

PVC?s flagship rigid pipe and tubing segment ? accounting for almost 45 percent of four-month sales ? was down almost 5 percent. The only construction-related PVC segment to show early-year growth was fencing and decking, where sales grew about 3 percent.

U.S. housing starts for June checked in at an annualized rate of 549,000 ? their lowest level since October and almost exactly half the rate that was recorded in June 2008. Full-year U.S. housing starts for 2009 were 554,000. The U.S. market peaked in 2005 with almost 2.1 million housing starts.

PVC-related first-quarter sales for Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf Corp. were up 19 percent to $287 million vs. the year-ago period. But that segment had an operating loss of almost $9 million for the quarter, after posting an operating profit of almost $21 million in the first quarter of 2009.

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Exports update

Published on 04 August 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


Plastics export watch

The volume of plastic scrap exported in May, at 377.89 million pounds, increased by 6.4 percent when compared to its April figure. However, when matched against May 2009?s position, the volume of exports fell by 16.0 percent.
The weighted price of recovered plastic exports for May, at 21.39 cents per pound, decreased 2.2 percent from its April standing. Yet, when compared to May 2009, the price rose 22.5 percent.
Through May, at 1.83 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported improved a slight 0.6 percent over its 2009 year-to-date (YTD) figure. And, at 21.05 cents per pound, the average price through May was also up 23.0 percent over its YTD standing.

Cited by: Plastics Recycling Update


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Athens, Alabama

Published on 02 August 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


City bets big on Custom Polymers

The Athens, Alabama City Council has voted in favor of investing $1.3 million to triple the bottle washing capacity of Custom Polymers’ local plastics recycling plant. The expansion will add 40 permanent jobs ? by January of 2011 ? and bring total wash capacity to 150 million pounds, resulting in the production of 70 million pounds of recycled PET flake and 30 million pounds of recycled food-grade PET pellets for sale annually.
The company will provide $1 million in matching funds and will also repay the City of Athens’ contribution over the next five years. The expansion will add a fourth building to the site, which already boasts 200,000 square feet of facility and warehouse space.

Cited: Plastics Recycling Update

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EPS recycling

Published on 23 July 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


U.K. beats goal in EPS recycling

Over 5,500 tons of expanded polystyrene (EPS) was recycled in the U.K. in 2009, according to the EPS Group of the British Plastics Federation. That volume accounts for 33 percent of the total EPS manufactured in the United Kingdom last year, and easily beats the government’s recycling target of 25.5 percent by 2010. The numbers are more impressive, considering many local authorities in the U.K. do not recycle EPS. The material is instead collected and processed through separate household and business recycling schemes.

Cited by Plastic Recycling Update

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Plastic Bags

Published on 21 July 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


Plastic bags lose ground in OR, NC

The potential single-use plastic bag ban in California (established under Assembly Bill 1998) may be getting the lion’s share of press coverage, but other states and communities are debating how to handle plastic bags as well.
In the Pacific Northwest, a bi-partisan bill is being crafted by two state senators, who are seeking to ban plastic bags and charge a nickel for every paper bag distributed in the Beaver State. Legislation, which could be introduced in the 2011 session, has the support of a mix of urban and rural legislators, led by Democratic Senator Mark Hass, from the Portland suburb of Beaverton, and Senator Jason Atkinson, a Republican from the rural Southern Oregon community of Central Point.
The two senators introduced Senate Bill 1009 during the legislature’s 2010 short session, which would have prohibited all retail establishments from distributing to customers plastic bags (as checkout bags) less than 2.25 mils thick, and levied a five-cent per-bag fee on all kraft paper bags distributed.
Not content to wait for state action, Portland Mayor Sam Adams will release a draft ordinance Friday that looks to ban plastic bags in Oregon’s largest city. Many grocery and retail outlets in the Portland metro area currently offer voluntary bag recycling programs, but pro-ban advocates have chided recycling as “ineffective” and “expensive.” Mayor Adams had previously explored regulating plastic bags in the city, but never formally introduced an ordinance, citing concerns over the impact on Portland’s economy.
Haas hopes that his bill is able to stave off a patchwork of local laws banning the sacks, and grocers agree on that point. “There’s unrest with how slowly the wheels of the Legislature are turning,” Joe Gilliam, president of the Northwest Grocery Association, told The Oregonian.
Elsewhere around the country, North Carolina has continued its gradual phase-out of plastic bags, moving to ban them in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties. The move is an expansion of a law passed last year (Senate Bill 1018), which banned the distribution of plastic bags at stores with more than five stores in the state, or stores greater than 5,000 square feet in size. In their place, retailers must now offer reusable sacks or paper bags with at least 40-percent recycled content.

Cited by Plastics Recycling Update

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Poll Question

Published on 13 July 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits



Are you seeing signs at your company that the economy is turning around?

1. Yes, jobs and benefits are being reinstated

2. Things improving slowly

3. Things remain uncertain

4. Things are getting worse

This poll was posted in Plastics Exchange Magazine June 28, 2010

We hope you are doing well with your business and continue to grow and prosper for 2010!? :)

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Resin Production

Published on 06 July 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


Resin production up versus 2009

Domestic resin production is up 7.4 percent, to 24.8 billion pounds, for the first four months of 2010, compared with the same period last year. Production for April 2010 (the most recent data available) was largely flat compared to the same month in 2009, but did manage a slight increase of 0.1 percent, to 6.2 billion pounds. Sales and captive use of plastic resins for the first four months of the year largely kept pace at 24.3 billion pounds ? a 5.8 percent increase over the same period in 2009.
The American Chemistry Council, which tracks the data, releases resin production reports monthly through its website.

Cited by Plastics Recycling Update

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APR caps (HDPE)

Published on 28 June 2010 by in Plastics Tidbits


APR says “keep the caps on”

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) today issued a press release in support of keeping the caps on plastic bottles and containers prior to recycling, settling uncertainty among some recycling program coordinators and materials recovery facility (MRF) operators.
“We want to assure recycling coordinators, MRF operators and other collectors of recyclables that plastics recyclers will process these bottles and recover the caps for recycling purposes,” said APR Chairman Scott Saunders.
APR Executive Director Steve Alexander further clarifies by saying that APR “encourages this practice because we are committed to increasing the available supply and the actual amount of plastics being recycled while at the same time reducing the instances of litter and waste in local communities in North America.”
According to the release, APR member companies report a growing demand for resins such as the polypropylene (PP) commonly found in caps and lids.
The association further offered suggestions for manufacturers of packaging and brand owners to use APR Design for Recyclability Guidelines, noting that, “In this case, the recommendation is that PET and polypropylene bottles, such as beverage containers, use polypropylene caps,” said APR technical director Dave Cornell. “HDPE bottles, such as detergent containers, should use HDPE caps.”

Cited by Plastics Recycling Update

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